While we are not in marketing, we know it’s important to put your brand’s best foot forward. And a lot of the time that can be done for a lot cheaper than some marketing agency’s let on. For exhibit A, take a look at Guest WiFi Login screens.

We get asked about having a custom login screen on the guest WiFi network fairly regularly. So, we thought it was high time to put our answer in writing.

The answer is very straightforward (just how we like our answers to be). It’s an emphatic YES. But we wanted to dive a little deeper in the how and why of this custom login screen.

Not only is having this custom guest login screen – which is called a captive portal – essential for security, it’s also a great way to leverage your branding and sneak in a little marketing.

If you’ve logged in to the WiFi at an airport, Starbucks or any number of other businesses, you’ve seen a captive portal. You probably filled in the necessary info or clicked the right boxes and then went on to do your thing on the internet.

This little preamble to accessing the internet is a small thing with large consequences for guests and businesses. Not only is it crucial for your own firm, but it also protects your clients.

Here’s why you should use a captive portal.

Security and liability

Data hacking is a very real and prominent threat. If you have followed our guidelines for file security, your firm should be relatively safe from cyber-attacks. It’s actually your clients and visitors’ security that you need to worry about.

Hackers will often create a guest WiFi network posing as a legitimate business. If you notice any networks that very similar in name to yours, beware. But if you have a captive portal, your guests can be certain they are accessing the correct network.

Additionally, by using a captive portal you can protect your firm from lawsuits. Before surfing the web, you can have users agree to an accepted usage policy (AUP) which relieves you of liability if the user is victim to a cyber-crime.

Marketing and data

The captive portal can and should contain brand identification for your guests. You can show off your stuff and even get them to complete a call-to-action.

You can also encourage users to follow you on social media or use their social media to log in to your portal. With this data you can learn more about your clients to improve their user experience and gain valuable marketing information.

Protect your bandwidth

While you might trust your guests not to use your network to make illegal downloads or hog your internet, you can still protect yourself from unwanted internet usage. With a captive portal you can program settings that control the size and speed of downloads, limit the amount of time users spend on your network and block the common file pirating sites.

If you are offering your guests WiFi and not using a captive portal, you’re not only risking your own security, but you’re missing out on opportunities to understand your clients better and connect with them.

We can help you set up your captive portal today!

Luke Kumanchik

Entrepreneur, programmer, backyard farmer & Dungeon Master Extraordinaire.